Saturday, February 23, 2013

Knee Injury. Diary of, part 1. Accept the f*'*!er

The best laid plans and so on.

As you may have read in my first, optimistic, positive blog entry of the new year I was enjoying my new sport, kick-boxing and running was going very well. I was on a march towards the first marathon in two years on April the 28th. Everything was looking promising until one of the worst and most common of injuries hit me last Thursday. The fateful knee damage injury.

A bit of background - at 18 years old I crushed the meniscus in my knee and ripped a tendon. This happened just before I was to go to University. I was given a choice. Get the tendon repaired with a two to three month rehabilitation or just repair the meniscus. Repair in this case meaning to cut some of the meniscus away and clean it up a bit. Recuperation would be to have a knee brace and go to University. Back in the day I wasn't much of a sportsman and was willing to give up skateboarding for the joys of University life. I should have never been given a choice.

Since then I've had one problem with it since but this was, again, before I became a runner. When I had an MRI that time I was given a 50% improvement chance with an operation and, again, I turned it down. Again, I possibly should have considered a little more deeply the possible repercussions.

Now I'm faced with with the prospect of 1 - 4+ months of recuperation if I need and choose a serious operation. I feel that to be without running for that amount of time is just terrifying. What am I going to do? I'm currently icing the injury and trying to combine rest and alternative movement and training. It's not as bad today as yesterday but I tried a couple of faltering running steps and the pain was unbearable. Unfortunately I can't get an appointment with a private specialist for a week. I'm going to try with my normal doctor on Monday to see if I can accelerate the process.

So, let's deal with the way my mind is working on this. The way I see it I have been dealing with a ticking time-bomb. I'm now dealing with the result of two choices that I made earlier in life. The compound effect of putting these decisions off is that I'm now having to consider an operation in the most active period of my life. I couldn't have known that I was to become a healthy, fitness obsessed athlete and so I cannot "blame" my younger self for making these decisions. I have, however, learnt that I should really consider the harder path rather than the easy way out in the future. I'm hoping to get some more options from the specialist but I'm also treating this as a positive move forward. I'm going to do everything I can to fix this problem once and for all. That is going to mean rehabilitation and building strength in supporting muscles whether I take the surgical road or not. There is, as usual, conflicting information everywhere on dealing with knee problems and I haven't yet had a diagnosis. In order to keep myself from going completely crazy I need to physically work. That means finding some alternative training methods. I'm going to try to train only low-impact this week. I'm going to start today with swimming. Pure rest is not an option for me. I don't believe it's at all beneficial. I'm still pretty convinced that RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) is not the best idea and definitely not correct as the only way of dealing with this. I like the sound of MEAT (movement, exercise, analgesic and treatment) and it seems to make a lot more sense to me. Here is a good article on the two:

As this is such a common injury and I am going to be researching and "living" this series of posts I thought it would be useful to do a special series on this.

Let's fix this!

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